Clean Energy Pioneers

Press release

"Clean Energy Pioneers" Are Building a Stronger Economy Across the West

New Report Documents Innovators as Western Governors Convene for Annual Meeting


Bill Midcap, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, (303) 283-3528 or
John Nielsen, Western Resource Advocates, (303) 885-8099 or
Dan Grossman, Environmental Defense Fund, (303) 887-8206 or

(Colorado – June 24, 2010) A new publication – Clean Energy Pioneers: Building a Stronger Western Economy – chronicles people, businesses and communities across the intermountain West who are forging clean energy progress through innovation and determination. The report is available at

The release of this publication coincides with the Western Governors' annual meeting, which begins this weekend. This year's meeting is convening in Whitefish, Montana and will examine new clean energy solutions. As the governors mark "100 Years of Common Ground" in working together to manage the region's natural resources, clean energy pioneers across the West have established the foundation for a clean energy economy upon which policy-makers can build.

"In communities across the rural West, clean energy pioneers are creating jobs, keeping family farms in the family, and building stronger local economies," said Bill Midcap, Director of Renewable Energy Development for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

"With leadership and a tradition of innovation, the West is charting the path to more jobs, a steady flow of homegrown electricity, and less harmful pollution," said John Nielsen, Western Resource Advocates Energy Program Director.

"National leadership on energy security and climate policy is essential to bolster America's energy independence and to grow and strengthen the West's economy," said Dan Grossman, Environmental Defense Fund Rocky Mountain Regional Director. "The West is well-positioned in the nation's critical race to create jobs and reduce dangerous pollution through homegrown clean energy solutions."

Clean Energy Pioneers: Building a Stronger Western Economy chronicles a wide variety of clean energy success stories: farmers who are supporting their farms with supplemental income from wind power; companies that are relying on the earth's heat for geothermal power – and creating jobs in the process; Native American entrepreneurs who are harnessing clean energy to heat and cool houses on tribal lands; roofers who are finding new job opportunities installing solar panels; working mothers who are training to become solar installers and green construction workers; college students training for new opportunities in clean energy; and the burgeoning community college programs that provide educational and training opportunities.

For the past year, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Western Resource Advocates and Environmental Defense Fund have collaborated on collecting these compelling stories from across the far-flung corners of the West. The new report, along with interactive maps, video, podcasts and other multimedia presentations, is available online at

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems.

Western Resource Advocates, protects the West’s land, air, and water recognizing that success can only come from working collaboratively with other conservation groups, hunters and fishermen, ranchers, American Indians, and all those who seek a sustainable future for this remarkable part of the country.